Newspaper resists efforts to be placed under control of university department

TEXAS — The students and faculty of Texas Tech University’sSchool of Mass Communications thwarted a proposal in Februarythat would have established a formal relationship between theschool newspaper and the department.

The original draft of the proposal, submitted by Jerry Hudson,director of the School of Mass Communications, would have placedthe The University Dailyunder the control of the Schoolof Mass Communications and required a department staff memberto serve as a "newsroom editor," as well as teach ajournalism class. The staff of The UDresisted the proposal,fearing it would entail a loss of editorial independence. In addition,the proposal was widely challenged by both faculty and studentsin the department.

After several revisions, the department faculty voted to maintainthe newspaper’s current informal relationship with the department.Students in journalism classes may continue to submit classworkto be considered by the editors of The University Dailyforpublication, but the newspaper will retain its status as an independentpublication. The UDwill continue to have no formal connectionwith the department and receive no direct funding from the university.

UDeditor Wayne Hodgins said most faculty members didnot support Hudson’s proposal to place The UDunder thecontrol of the mass communications department.

"Dr. Hudson went over the faculty’s heads," Hodginssaid. "He went directly to the administration about it, andthe faculty went into an uproar about that …. The journalismfaculty was totally against taking over The UD."

The student senate also supported the newspaper’s efforts toremain independent, passing a unanimous resolution that statedThe UDshould "remain self-sufficient and under studentcontrol."